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Alta Snowboard Team Buffs Now In!

Call it a buff. Call it a neck gaiter.  Either way, we’ve been asked for quite some time and here they are:  AST buffs.  Cut the sand-blasting snow and wind.  Protect your face from the high-altitude U/V light.  Pull it down over your face and dance around, whatever.  Red, white, and blue sitting on black as usual.  They measure 20×50 cm and are super-stretchy.  Here’s Kyla wearing her new buff at the annual Avalanche Dog Search and Rescue clinic held here in Alta.

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AST Represented in Portland Oregon Skateboard Race

Our man on the sidewalk surfer is at it again.  James Cook of Seaside, Oregon to represent Alta Snowboard Team and Seaside Surf Shop at Mt. Tabor park in Portland, Oregon this Saturday, July 26th.  It’s the Mt. Tabor Downhill challenge.  It will be “Old School Style” with limited space between feet making for an interesting stance on the board.  Entry fee is $75 and open to all.  Space is limited and professionals will be in attendance so bring your A-game or just come and watch from the sidelines in beautiful Mt. Tabor park on Portland’s S.E. side..  Full-face helmets and gloves are required to compete.  Shoes and pants?  Who knows?  See you there!

This photo take from 2013 "Switchback Series" held at Mt. Tabor Park. (No full-face helmets required).
This photo take from 2013 “Switchback Series” held at Mt. Tabor Park. (No full-face helmets required).
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AST on the podium

Local shredder and AST rider Shannan Yates takes 1st place at Chamonix with fellow AST riders Laura Dewey and Kaitlin Elliot finishing in 6th and 7th, respectively.  This was the first stop on this year’s Swatch/North Face Freeride World Tour.  All the American female snowboard competitors hail from our own Little Cottonwood Canyon.  That includes Laura Dewey, Shannan Yates, Kaitlin Elliot and Laura Hadar.  The first three of them are reppin’ Alta Snowboard Team and we’re proud to have them.  Shred on ladies!

Yates on the podium
Yates on the podium
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Ice and Rocks. The 2013 Masters at Alpine.

Dave Zook is a sponsored Alta Snowboard Team Rider.  Dave was kind enough to share his experiences at the first Masters of Snowboarding event held at Alpine Meadows, California on February 14th, 2013.  Dave finished 26th in a field of 54 competitors.

Author:Dave Zook

Photos: Dee

High Yellow Alpine Venue

To me the Masters is about having fun and pushing my abilities amidst a group of talented riders. I have done a few competitions in years past with limited success, but have an underlying confidence that on the right day I can hang with the big kids. I was hoping Tahoe would be that day.


On the first day at Alpine I had my inner amp-up reserves stored up for a 20-foot rock with a firm but acceptably steep landing. The goal was to stay conservative through the top section and cap the run off with a sizeable air, staying fluid throughout.

Top Air
Top Air

I dropped into the upper ice apron and squiggled and squirmed over the wind-scoured month-old snow. I found air 1, a four-foot drop to slick runout.

A four-foot air is admittedly small, but I have no trouble conceding that for me it was difficult to land any air on that steep of a venue and control the speed afterward. The difficulty lay in not simply landing the air but regaining composure without throwing the board on the heel edge and sliding for awhile, as doing so is not smooth, and runs the risk of washing out. Though the announcers kept saying “railing out” when this happened, which channeled my inner eighth-grader and made me giggle.


Someone else “Railing out”


I dropped the first air and rode out, sliding but a little on my heel. I weaved over to air 2 which was about a foot bigger than air 1st. The same tactic here yielded the same result. While I could feel I wasn’t rocketing through the course like some (Matt Carter!), control was a nice thing to be able to fall back on to justify lack of berserk speed.


Zook’s jump 2

But one big rock still lay between myself and a cold beer. The in-run had a smoothed out and perfectly horizontal takeoff zone from everyone scraping it the day before. That’s nice, I thought, as I closed in on the lip. I remember wanting to drift from rider’s left to right in the air, so I could find the optimal transition, and not go too far and land in Nick Perata’s lap in the announcing booth.

Got the Grab


The plan almost worked. My speed felt good, I found the grab and looked at the impending landing coming straight to the bottom of my feet. Only a few centimeters of board, a sturdy pair of boots and a pair of thin socks insulated my feet from the ruggedly firm snow. If memory serves me, which it probably doesn’t when trying to recollect thoughts from a free-fall, I was positioned to land on the mental X I had mapped out.

But, I came down with a tad too much weight centered over my front foot and tumbled. I’d anticipated the landing to be proper hardpack, but I think the snow gave way just a touch and tripped me up and over the handlebars. I tweaked my ankle and it hurt. I broke my board and that sucked. I didn’t land and wouldn’t get a great score and that pissed me off.

OUCH Face to ICE


But like anything, perspective is key. It was a beautiful day in Cali, my home state and I was outside, and snowboarding. Friends were watching and supporting me, which counts for everything, more than I can express. In no time I was smiling and cheering on the rest of the riders. I had fun.


Author and Rider: Dave Zook
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Alpine, Squaw, Now Kirkwood and Taos

Kaitlin Elliot Indy Grab at Alpine
6th place finish

Competition season is now in full swing and the Alta Snowboard Team is out on the circuit getting recognition,  having a good time traveling, meeting new friends, and of course snowboarding. Most recently over the President’s Day weekend, events for the Freeride World Qualifier Tour were held at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley North Lake Tahoe, California. The Alta Snowboard Team athletes were competing against an array of top-notch snowboarders from all over North America in an effort to obtain a position on the Freeride World Tour, where they would be competing internationally.


The Masters of Snowboarding has been a favorite event for big-mountain snowboarders for the past six seasons. The 2012-2013 season has been a bit different for the Masters as the event merged with the Freeride World Tour.   In the past, venues for the Masters were at Crystal Mountain, WA, Kirkwood CA, Girdwood AK, Crested Butte CO, and our favorite Snowbird UT.   This year Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley were chosen as the resorts to host a big-mountain style competition.  These new locations are great, but conditions at these locations not so great.


Squaw Valley North Face Masters


Venue at Squaw C-2 Bowl

On Feburary 14th, 2013 Alpine Meadows hosted the opening event for the Masters. This two star event had no prize money, but yet was an opportunity for those who were not qualified to advance to Squaw Valley the four star event the following day. The awards at Squaw Valley were much greater. The winner got 3,000 dollars in prize money and a spot on the international tour.


Utah was well represented in the line-up of competitors.  Five female ladies in a field of eighteen were representing Utah and ten men of fifty-four. Many of the Utah competitors were proud to put the Alta Snowboard Team as one of their sponsors.   The Alta Snowboard Team has been a concept for more than a decade, but in the last year we have organized ourselves into a team of super shredders. We are getting both national and international recognition.

Ryan Hudson sending ” Backbreaker” to the hard-pack

This year at the Masters was different because you weren’t just cheering for your friends you ride with, but rather there was a whole group to support.  The Utah crowd was pumped and cheering for those on the Alta Snowboard Team.  It was pretty cool. Furthermore the AST was getting props from the announcers at the Masters.

We even got a few new members while out in California. Rose Struble rides at Brighton and the Bird and was entering her first Masters. She is now a proud AST member. We also added 20 year old Jordan Nelson to the team. Jordan may be a young buck, but he knows how to ride. Mike Meru was also stoked to join the team. He is a family man, but still makes time to get out in the mountains. He loves splitboarding. Making new friends and spreading the good vibe is what we are about here at the Alta Snowboard Team and the California sun helped us out with that mission.

Ruari MacFarlane NZ won the Squaw event
Ruari has been to Utah and loves the AST



So where is the AST headed next? Ahhh So glad you asked. Laura Dewey, Shannan Yates and John Rodosky will be competing at the fourth stop of the Swatch Freeride Tour at Kirkwood Ca. Contest starts February 27. There is also a group of AST members going to Taos, New Mexico for the qualifying event February 28 through March 2nd.  That one is called 2013 Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships.  Good Luck to all the athletes.  Both competetions will be skiers and snowboarders. One Love- it is going to be a fun weekend.


Kaitlin will be rocking her AST gear in Taos










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AST members travel to California for The North Face Masters

Ten Alta Snowboard Team riders are scheduled to compete at the North Face Masters of snowboarding this week.  Two events are scheduled.  The first event will take place at Alpine Meadows and is classified as a 2 star event.  Following Alpine Meadows is a 4 star event to be held at Squaw Valley.  The venues have been announced.  At  Alpine Meadows the athletes will be riding “High Yellow”.  The Squaw Valley venue is set for Cornice 2 Bowl also called the Light Towers.  Conditions are not ideal for a big mountain competition, so there is a bit of suspense for the riders.

In order to understand what kind of preparations it takes to do an event like this, the Alta Snowboard Team Athletes were asked  “What preparations have they been making for the competition in California?” and also if they “Have snowboarded at Alpine Meadows or Squaw Valley?”


Dave Zook

Dave Zook has been riding the fresh snow at Snowbird everyday in preparation for the Cali contest.  He is going to get his board tuned up at the Peruvian and let his legs rest on the 10 hour ride to the Golden State.

Matt Carter bought a new board because his current ride is thrashed.  He is hoping not to destroy it before competition day.  He also had his base tuned with a special “structure” pattern.  Structures are going to be important in California because if it is warm Matt still wants to be able to slide fast.  He keeps saying he is going to do some yoga.  Matt has been to Squaw Valley twice.  Once on Memorial Day and later on the 4th of July, but has never ridden Alpine Meadows.

Matt Carter

Jacob Levine has been out riding with Team Utah.  Jacob is dedicated to his coaching job, but last year he decided to try a little competition himself.  Jacob is a veteran slopestyle competitor.  However, he had not competed in 6 seasons until he tried at Snowbird last season.  Furthermore his discipline was parks and jumps so this was the first big mountain competition he had done.  Low and behold he finished 4th at Snowbird.  This year he is going to give competition snowboarding a try again.   With results like that Why not? Jacob was in Salt Lake less than 24 hours before flying to Reno.  He has been in Jackson Hole this last week warming up his legs up on the hard pack.  Jacob has been to both Squaw Valley and Alpine, but it has been a long time.

Jacob Levine



Jesse Maddox has been out snowmobiling and splitboarding in the backcountry.  He works the graveyard shift drivings cats at the Bird and rides all day until he is a walking zombie.  He sleeps and repeats.  Jesse is super pumped to get a few days off work to go enjoy the California sun.

Ryan Hudson has been out snowboarding at Snowbird and has been putting the final touches on his speech.  Ryan is part of The North Face Speaker Series.  He will be giving a presentation Friday February 15th at 6:00pm.  The audience will be at full attention to hear Ryan speak.

Ryan Hudson
Beth Weissman

Beth Weissman has been skiing at Alta to prepare for the contest.  She said she wanted to snowboard but it has been too crowded at the Bird. (Agreed)  She has never been to Alpine Meadows and she went to Squaw once nine years ago.

Camilla Brown has been out shredding the Utah powder.  She finished 5th in the Canis Lupus at Canyons resort on February 2nd.  Camilla had a ball at Kirkwood last year finishing 3rd and getting a super fresh run down the forbidden Cirque.  Camila went to Alpine Meadows ten years ago and never to Squaw Valley.

Camila Brown

Kaitlynn Elliot has been training all summer and fall with Shannan at Vitality Fitness.  She has been riding hard on the powder days.  She is mentally preparing herself by trying to visualize her lines.  She is strong right now and confident in her abilities.  Mountain  biking has helped Kaitlynn stay fit in the off season and feeds her need to speed down the mountain.

Shannan Yates

Shannan Yates is prepared for anything anytime.  Shannan has dedicated herself to nursing school and yet is still getting it done on the competition scene.  Shannan took the top finish at the SWATCH Freeride World Tour in the ladie’s snowboarding division in Revelstoke on January 7th 2013.  She was just at the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom this past weekend where she finished 6th in the pro womens division.

We wish all the athletes a safe trip to California and we already know they are going to have a good time.